A weekend at West Point

The URDU traveled a skeleton crew to the 40th annual West Point Military Academy Debate Tournament over Meliora Weekend. The competition was excellent and West Point’s historic setting is awe inspiring. All of our debaters won half of their preliminary debates. Both Varsity teams advanced to elimination rounds.

The 5-hour drive up to West Point (ie why we should be nice to the coaches and debaters who agree to make the trip).
Pulling up at West Point, one of the nicest tournament campuses around. You can’t beat debating at castles and fortresses.
Gordie is simultaneously enjoying the view and stretching.

The team of Ben Batha & Tommye Weddington finished in 9th place, after dropping to Cornell on a 3-0 decision in the octa-finals.

Vijay Kasschau and Alyssa Schwartz defeated Towson on a 3-0 in octa-finals and dropped to Liberty on a 2-1 in quarter-finals. They finished 5th overall in the tournament.

Kasschau was also awarded the 8th place speaker award.

Ken prepping the aforementioned Vijalyssa team, also known as RocKS (self-proclaimed).
Rochester KS mid-round.
Novice debater Jampel Norbu at his second tournament, already growing close to his expando.

In addition to debating, a highlight of the tournament was the key note address by long time debate supporter, Colonel Mike Meese. Colonel Meese recently returned from Afghanistan, where he used skills learned as a debater to better serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for General David Patraeus. Meese’s address to the debaters emphasized the importance of civil dialogue in our country’s polarized partisan bickering. Debate, Meese hopes, teaches students to respect the complexity of all sides of an argument. The URDU thanks Colonel Meese for his service to the country and his support over the decades to the debate community.

The moment when pairings are released and there is a rush among the coaches to prep their debaters.
Meeting up with old friends.
At the awards ceremony, which is held in the lunch hall where past presidents have made historic speeches. Here we see the very rare occurrence of a smiling Vijay, possibly because…
…this currently belongs to him.


1 Comment

  1. Not at all team 🙂 I think it was one of the most exciting/stressful experiences I went through. It would have been much better if I made it to the open round 😀 Loved it still!

    Sarah AK Ahmed


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